Monday, May 5, 2008


  • So I did so much complaining, I bet you're wondering if we took any action. The surprising truth is that yes, for once we did. While most of my life has been defined by lots of griping and little or no response, after thirty long years, I've grown tired of letting the moss grow on my backside. I've spent too many years watching other people live life, wondering if I will ever get my chance. And although the jumping off into the abyss of the unknown is frightening, it is the pounding inside your chest that lets you know you are still alive.

Eric took a break from work. He's tired of seventy hour workweeks, of a life lived on the road and away from his family. It's unconventional, sure, but his job will always be there. How long will good health and the will to enjoy it be around? How long will our kids be young and willing to spend so much time in our company? This is the time we lay the foundation for their lives, and we're not willing to pay a cheap contractor to do the job fast. It is something that we must make sure is done right; it is something we must do ourselves.

I pulled Carter out of preschool. It's only preschool, sure, but education has turned into blind monotony, and although I love his teacher and his program and his school, I am choosing to follow my heart in this journey. As of right now, he needs us more than he needs circle time. There will be years and years of his life where he needs to show up and stand in line. Why start it all so soon?

So we packed the trailer full of a week's worth of fruit snacks and pureed peas, and headed as far west as this great land allows, where we could smell the salt and hear the crashing of the cliched waves. We parked it for a week at Dillon Beach, just across Tomales Bay from Pt. Reyes. We spent days building sandcastles, watching the tides, and wading in the water as far as the end of April would allow. We lived in flip-flops and rolled up jeans with cuffs full of sand, tousled hair tucked behind our ears, cheeks pink and golden from the glory of the sun. We ate hot dogs and barbecue, roasted marshmallows over the fire, let the kids stay up way past their bedtime. We watched the sun set from the front seat of the Ford, pj'd kids in our laps, open Sierra Nevadas in the cup holders. We smiled more in an hour than we normally do in the course of a week. It like watching heaven unfold around us, knowing each moment was a memory that would be taken out and remembered with reverence for the rest of our lives.

It was bliss. It was living. And we didn't want to have to go home.

So we took a few more days. Wandered up to Oregon to visit family we normally never seem to find the time to see. Toured a state we'd never spent any time in, opened our eyes and looked in awe at all that passes us by each day without notice. Laughter. Joy. Beauty.

What is it that we're waiting for, I wonder? Permission to live? Why is it so hard for adults to relax? We certainly aren't born this uptight, it must be something we learn as we grow and are taught the supposed definition of responsibility. My children definitely don't have a concept of it yet, and part of me doesn't ever want them to. I think it is a lie that life takes sacrifice. Why are we cheating ourselves?

And so the great sabbatical continues. Sometimes you must walk away from the classroom to learn the most...